A few nights ago while having dinner with the ladies at Flower Shop in the Lower East Side, we were talking about the ups and downs of dating in New York City. In between the tears rolling from laughing so hard while sharing stories, one of my girlfriends said, “Well, you know it’s all fun and games until you’re 35 and single!”
And something happened that surprised even me, the Scorpio. I mean, really surprised me. I got turned on. Somehow, the idea of being 35 and single and getting dressed up to date, flirt, and romance with the gorgeous men this city has to offer was enticing. Like a true Scorpio, I declared how turned on I felt by the idea of being a 35-year-old woman, powerful and single, romancing the night away.
I suddenly felt conflicted and also bewildered as the wheels of my mind started spinning: “Why did I feel turned on by the idea of being 35 and single but haven’t felt turned on by the idea of being 28 and single? Why did I think, despite how far I’ve come in terms of self-acceptance, that 35 and single felt more comfortable in my head, seeing myself then as a sexy, confident 35 year-old-woman? Isn’t it true that when I was younger and didn’t care at all, I had no problem meeting men that wanted to commit immediately? Is there some sort of stigma that says, you can have fun while you’re young, but when you hit your late 20’s you have to stop having fun because then you’re not taking finding a partner seriously, so then you start taking it seriously and suddenly it becomes impossible to find someone ready to commit, so there you are, 35 and single and ready to have fun again because, well, what else can you do.”
My last relationship, the person in complete delusion I thought I was going to end up marrying, ended two years ago when he said, “I don’t want to be with you anymore” on the way to dinner. Looking back, I realize that despite that moment royally sucking, the end of that relationship was the catalyst for me to reconnect with my sexuality, with the whirlwind of dating, with learning what it meant to be a woman in her late 20’s navigating dating in New York City.
For the last two years, I’ve found myself absolutely bashing dating, saying, “It’s so hard, it sucks, men are impossible, they are dingleberries, (insert your favorite line here).” I began to wonder why I was magnifying the negativity of the dating world when, truth be told, I’ve met and dated some of the most interesting, handsome, and eligible (okay maybe not so eligible) bachelors that live in this city and beyond. Reflecting back as Valentine’s Day approached, I saw how each of these men taught me something about myself and how dating hasn’t been all horror story but many moments of connection, fun, playfulness, laughter, excitement, and lessons in learning about the woman I want to be. Here are five stories and five lessons I’ve learned in the last two years of dating, dancing, and romancing.
THE RUSSIAN - The Russian was the first man I dated after dipping my toes back in the dating pool. To preface, my ex and I were best friends who loved each other but weren’t in love. We had zero passion and very little romance or sex in our relationship. I spiritually bypassed the entire lack of connection by thinking, if I just improve myself a little more, he'll be attracted to me again. The Russian, with his dark curly hair, blue eyes, dimples, and the sweetest smile combined with that insane sex appeal oozing from his confidence, reminded me that passion, romance, and chemistry was non-negotiable and definitely not something that would require me improving myself upon to receive more of it. The way he looked at me like I was the only person in the room, the wait he would grab my waist to let everyone else know I was his. He would always dress sharp, our dates would be at the hottest spots around town, he took care of everything without me even noticing. We would laugh, dance, and kiss until the early hours. Ultimately, he wasn’t ready for a relationship at the time so we transitioned into the most, and I mean the most, adoring and loving friendship I have ever had with a man. He became one of my closest friends. On my birthday he handwrites me the sweetest cards. When we run into each other in the neighborhood, we still kiss each other and look each other in the eyes with the same love that now fuels our friendship. A few months ago I was so frustrated with my autoimmune allergies and was complaining about puffy eyes. He stood there the entire time I talked, patiently waiting for me to finish, squeeing my shoulders with a sweet smile on his face as I rambled. Once I was done, he kissed both of my eyes and then said, “You’re beautiful” and then we linked arms, laughed, and continued on to walk each other home catching up on life. Over the last two years the Russian taught me one, that being treated like a queen is non-negotiable, and two, that love between a man and a woman, or any two persons for that matter, can exist without the need for it to be a romantic relationship.
THE DESIGNER - The designer. Oh boy. As many of you know I used to work in menswear, which I absolutely LOVED. When the designer and I met for our first date at The Ludlow, we hit it off immediately. He was very downtown cool, dressed in all black, all 6’1 of him. After our first date, which was filled with the funniest banter and hilarious conversation, he awkwardly kissed me on the curb, put me in a cab, and text me approximately 32 seconds later to plan the next date. Before our date, I had checked out his work and LOVED his line and considering our first went very well, I was excited, heart fluttering, interested to see what would happen. A few weeks later it was Fashion Week and he had a show at one of the hottest hotel lobby’s in New York City. As I walked in, I was blown away, not by the presentation per se because I had worked in fashion for years, but because I hadn’t been in fashion for years. When I left fashion for the wellness world, I felt like I had to shun that industry. In that moment as I moved through the crowd, I felt absolutely electric, buzzing with creative energy as some of the most influential people in the industry, dressed to the nines sauntered by. And then Saint Jhn took the stage, in leather pants, no shirt, fur coat and my jaw was on the floor by his performance and the way the crowd lit on fire the moment he stepped on stage. I think it was the first time I had heard rap music in about three years. The entire experience was a lightening bolt realization that the previous four years I had renunciated that entire life in pursuit of health and wellness, only to get very sick, fatigue, depressed, and more miserable than ever. It was that electricity of the creative industry that made me realize creative energy IS the most healing energy and looks different to everyone, not trying to live up to a particular lifestyle and image that fits the wellness mold. A few days later, the Designer went to Paris for men’s fashion week, never to be heard from again.
THE GUY WITH THE FINGER - I met a handsome guy on bumble who wanted to take me to St. Mazie’s one Thursday evening. He was the kind of handsome with tousled, curly beach hair but wore big, circular glasses and of course, had a slightly devilish grin that this Scorpio can’t resist. On Monday, he messaged me to say he actually had a surgery scheduled for Wednesday and didn’t think he could make Thursday happen anymore. Wow, I thought, that’s a first! I politely responded, “Hope surgery goes well!” expecting to never hear from him again. On Thursday, he sent me a photo and upon opening, it was a picture of him in a hospital gown, holding up a totally bandaged finger, with the goofiest, doped-up smile. Okay, so he actually did have a surgery. He wanted to move our plans to Saturday evening and I asked, “Maybe take a few days to recover from surgery? We can connect next week!” He responded, “Yes, yes you’re right, let’s do it next week!” Like any true Scorpio, I was asked out by another handsome gentleman so I made a date for St.Mazie’s on Saturday evening (stop! finger guy cancelled first!) My date and I walked in and it was totally packed. We went downstairs, packed too. As we made our way upstairs and began walking to the door to leave, I noticed a man walking straight towards me with disheveled beach hair and round glasses to boot, looking down, fumbling with his bandaged finger. Behind him, a gorgeous blonde, holding his shoulder as they made their way towards the bar. He looked up, saw my face, which was in the biggest smile I have ever smiled as I was trying to not burst out laughing at the ridiculousness of the whole thing, his eyes turned into a deer in headlights. I laughed as I walked past him and out the door. He continued to ask me out for two months after that evening. Men love what they can’t have, don’t they? There’s no lesson here other than that was the most hilarious moment of my dating life. Oh, the other guy? When we got to the next spot, he told me how he sits on FaceBook and argues with people in the comments section about Trump, which promptly led me to poking both eyes out with my fork.
THE PHOTOGRAPHER - We had known each other for years but reconnected last July. I was always attracted to him from afar as Scorpios can sense another Scorpio miles away. Over the years, he was in a very serious relationship and lived in Los Angeles, so he became a faint memory. One day, I saw him on Raya and immediately texted him out of frustration that he would even be on Raya with a lady, “What are you doing on here?! YOU’RE IN A SERIOUS RELATIONSHIP!” He responded immediately, laughing at my agitation and said that they had split about six months prior. We started briefly catching up, reminiscing about the good old days. I told him I’ll be in LA the next month, let’s grab a coffee. “Haha cool” he responded. I rolled my eyes, laughed, and went back to doing work. A month later I was in LA, totally forgot about the entire exchange, until he responded to one of my instagram stories saying, “You know I live in LA right.” I said, “Haha, cool.” Amused by my humor, he invited me to his place that evening. By this point, my eyes were stuck in the back of my head from rolling them so hard and cheeks were numb with laughter (he is literally the strangest but also most hilarious - imagine a younger, much hotter version of Woody Allen). I decided I would have fun with this and make him work for it, if he truly wanted to connect with me. I will not be coming to your house but you can take me out to dinner tomorrow night. Nearly ten minutes had gone by and he hadn’t responded. Of course, I thought. And then suddenly my phone chimed: “Reservations at Factory Kitchen tomorrow, 7pm. Pick you up at 6.30.” Reservations? Pick me up? What??? The next evening we were locked in convo and chemistry for five hours. We were obviously very attracted to each other and while I could have let it be a one night, fun fling, what happens in L.A. stays in L.A. kind of thing, I wanted to play with power. As the night ended and I made it clear I was going back to my hotel, he told me he had a trip booked to New York in two weeks and that I should come stay with him for the weekend. I nearly fell over laughing at his audacity, because despite his boldness, he was sweet and funny and nerdy and vulnerable in that Woody way, even though he was this big shot photographer. I jokingly said, “Fine. Only if you book the Sky Box suite at the Ludlow.” That evening, as I crawled in bed, I checked my email with a confirmation from the Ludlow Hotel, from him, of the Sky Box suite. Hot Damn.
THE ZANDER - Zander and I matched on Raya but never really engaged in convo on the app. One early Wednesday morning a few weeks later, I was Crosby street in SoHo and only one other person was in sight, crossing the street towards me: Zander. We laughed and made a plan to link up over the next few days. After much witty, hilarious, for real LOL texting, and two coffee dates later (imagine Shmidt from New Girl, only infinitely more handsome), I said to him, “I don’t see us being together romantically but I want you to be my best friend.” Boys not liking to be turned down, Zander was not into that idea until a few weeks later I received a text with three words, “Okay FINE. Besties.” Although meeting through a dating app, he has become one of my best friends in New York. He feels like home. He cracks me up all day long. He drives me insane. He is brutally honest with me when others won’t be. He calls me out on my bullshit. He shows me my blindspots. That very night at Flower Shop with the girls, we ran into him downstairs later in the evening where he went on a Oprah meets Shmidt lecture about how I complain about dating when in reality I have a wall up and don’t let men in. I didn’t think he was right until the amnesia subsided to 20 minutes prior when one of the most handsome men at the spot came up to me and said, “Hi! I think I see you here quite often! What’s your name?” to which the following dryly and way too Scorpio came out of my mouth because I have entirely forgotten how to flirt IRL: “I haven’t been here in 6 months…” Excuse me while I go practice in the mirror.
- Everyone we met to date is here to teach us something about ourselves. For example, I used to be extremely codependent and would only meet men who were extremely independent, leading me to have to let go of insecurities and learn how to stick to my independence even in relationships. If you want to go deeper into the self-work to clear out the blocks, I *highly* suggest doing UNBLOCKED with Lacy Phillips.
- A lot of times we focus on the negativity of something. I spent so long focusing on how awful dating was, talking about how awful dating was, thinking about how awful dating was, that dating began to become exhausting. As I started to force myself to go out more when friends invited me to events, parties, and nights on the town, I slowly began to remember how exhilirating it was to meet people in person, to catch eyes with a stranger, to feel that chemistry in real life without googling a person and finding out their D.O.B, Astrological sign, and social security number all before the first date. Stop saying dating is hard. Stop saying dating sucks. Stop saying men are the worst. Your word creates worlds so look at what world you are creating with your words.
- As women, we hold the power. Our attitude is everything and men feel that immediately. If our attitude about ourselves is insecure, men can feel that. If our attitude about ourselves is confident and powerful, men feel that too. Rather than putting men up on the pedestal, we have to put ourselves on the throne. If you need a powerful boost in the confidence area, I highly suggest doing at least three minutes of Sat Kriya a day. Eleven minutes and you’ll be a new person.
- Never, ever give up your life for a guy. Even if you don’t tell them you secretly cancelled your plans with your girlfriend to hang out with them instead, they can subconsciously and energetically feel as though you are making yourself too available.
- And finally, let the man come to you. My girlfriend Veronica, who is as sassy and sexy as her name indicates, says, “Be the ovum.” At first I thought this was hilarious but then I looked at the energetics of it: the sperm seeks out to find the egg. By nature, by design, masculine energy seeks out to find the feminine energy. If you do it the opposite way and pursue men, they often times feel emasculated and deem the woman as desperate. I used to do this all the time. I thought I was being an empowered woman in modern day. It never works. I completely and utterly stopped reaching out to men first and it gives me a chance to hold the power and allow men to come to me. To give you a great example of the shift, I had recently started following someone on Instagram who is friends of friends and yes, I thought he was cute, and YES in the past I have sent messages to men in attempt to be “bold” and feminist if you will. This time I said, “Hmm, nope. I bet he will message me.” I took a shower and lo and behold, twenty minutes later I received a notification that said, “Hi.”